City declares state of emergency in Sidney

SIDNEY — A state of emergency has been officially declared in the city of Sidney.

“The health and safety of our residents and employees continues to be of highest priority to us,” said City Manager Mark Cundiff. “Last night City Council took action to formally declare a state of emergency in the city of Sidney with relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“City Council recognizes that COVID-19 presents a real and imminent threat to the residents of the city of Sidney as well as the economic viability of this community,” Cundiff said. “Council also recognizes its obligation to its residents and economic partners to continue to provide necessary and vital public services despite the present emergency circumstances. It is a very delicate balancing act.”

Mayor Mike Barhorst added, “City Council wishes to stress to all the need for vigilance and the exercise of social distancing and sound hygienic practices as a means to lessen the impact and effect of the virus.”

The resolution declares:

• A state of emergency exists within the city of Sidney, Ohio and all of its residents are called upon and directed to comply with necessary emergency measures; to cooperate with all public officials and disaster services forces in executing any and all emergency response measures and plans; and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of such duly authorized and identified public officials.

• Addresses temporary amendments s to several city personnel policies.

• Provides a temporary suspension to water service shut off orders. Accumulated unpaid water fees will continue to accrue, including applicable late fees, and must be collected and shut off orders enforced once the declared emergency situation has subsided.

• Cancels all City Council and City Boards and Commissions meeting until further notices or the Ohio General Assembly revises public meeting laws to allow for the possibility of remote meetings. City Council may still hold special meetings on an as needed basis.

· Extends the closure of Tawawa Park to motor vehicles until May 1, 2020

Cundiff added, “The city emergency operations team has been meeting daily since Friday, March 13, 2020, to discuss actions that needed and will continue to need to be taken that will affect both employees and residents. The resolution adopted by council adopts our present day needs, but as the situation continues to evolve, council may be asked to consider additional topics and amendments to operations.”